5 Most Horrifying Things About Monsanto -- Why You Should Join the Global Movement and Protest on Saturday
April M. Short, AlterNet
Fed up with health concerns, environmental threats and political corruption, a Utah mom organizes a global movement against the biotech giant. READ MORE»
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The Tesla Mystique
If you think public television exists to offer challenging, independent news and public affairs shows that bring us the stories the commercial media too often ignore, free of the influence of big sponsors and corporate owners… well, this hasn't been a good week.
On Monday came word that PBS viewers will get something new on Friday nights: More Charlie Rose. As Elizabeth Jensen reported (New York Times, 5/20/13), PBS will be offering a new show called Charlie Rose Weekend, that "will cull the best of his late-night program" along with some new material. The show will take the place of Need to Know, which some might recall was PBS's replacement for the generally excellent program Now, which it cancelled in 2009. The show's first host was then-Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, as sure a sign as any that the show would probably not be doing the kind of independent journalism viewers had come to expect from Now.
So PBS has gone from Now to Need to Know to… Charlie Rose clips? Talk about sliding downhill.
But that wasn't the most explosive public TV news. Also breaking this week was Jane Mayer's investigation (New Yorker, 5/27/13) into the influence of right-wing billionaire David Koch over PBS, particularly New York station WNET. The trouble started when documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney produced a film called Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream. It zeroed in on one address: 740 Park Avenue, and the very wealthy folks who live there. One of them is Koch. The film is pretty critical, and that appeared likely to pose some problems. You see, David Koch is a major funder of WNET as well as Boston's WGBH, and he sits on the board of both. (Mayer also notes that "several relatives of WNET board members live at 740 Park," suggesting that there could have been some sensitivities about the film outside of Koch). read more